Dunlap school district changes proposed budget cuts

Feb 3, 2014

The Dunlap School District is changing its proposed budget plan for next school year based on public concern and suggestions. Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports:

The district originally proposed cutting about 20 full time staff and doing away with fifth grade band and fourth grade orchestra. Now the board is keeping the music programs and cutting two fewer teachers. Dunlap Superintendent Jay Marino says the district can make up the difference in part by spending about $225,000 in reserves:

“The board has some tolerance to use that, we just don't want to get into a position where that becomes the norm and the standard is you don't live off your savings account, you live out of your checking account,” Marino says.

Marino says the district also plans to see savings by instituting a $100 student activity fee per year, regardless of the number of activities. Dunlap teacher’s union co-president John Allison says the district should use more reserve funds:

“We can probably afford to dip below the five month reserve level because our local sources aren’t going to dry up overnight,” Allison says.  

Members of the community continued to speak out against proposed cuts and class-size increases for physical education. They also urged the district to consider selling more advertising space and offering more online classes. The board has about two months to take action on any staff changes.